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Irion  County
Irion County

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Irion County, West Texas

31 16' 53" N, 100 47' 43" W

On Hwy 67
NE of Mertzon the county seat
about 25 miles SW of San Angelo
Area code 325
Population: 170 Est. (2020)
150 (2000) 73 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › San Angelo Hotels

<table width="500" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="CENTER" bgcolor="#DDDDDD">
Sherwood Street Scene, Postmarked 1910
Click on image to enlarge
Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

In a familiar case of death-by-railroad, Mertzon became the county seat in 1936. This was merely a technicality since Sherwood had all but been abandoned when the railroad by-passed it by two miles in 1910.

The now privately owned courthouse is available for special events and festivals. The clock faces had painted hands. This was not an uncommon practice in counties across the U.S. in the 19th Century.

The present Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon is one of the ugliest in Texas.

The entire Irion County population is less than 2,000 with about half living in Mertzon.

Nearby is the site of the Battle of Dove Creek (see marker), although it is on private land. This fight took place in January of 1865 and involved a Confederate Frontier Battalion and a large number of Kickapoo Indians who were en route to Mexico (where they remain today). The Confederates engaged the Indians who were well defended by terrain. A rare snow was falling and after the battle the defeated Southerners resorted to eating some of their horses. Nothing was accomplished except for creating a hostile border environment for many years later. The Kickapoo Indians today maintain dual Mexican - U.S. Citizenship.

Sherwood TX - Birds Eye View
Birds Eye View of Sherwood
Postcard courtesy of Mae Cox, submitted by Charles Darnell

The First Irion County Courthouse
Sherwood, Texas

Sherwood TX 1901 Irion County Courthouse
Former Irion County Courthouse in Sherwood
"The old Irion County courthouse in Sherwood is surrounded by empty fields and a smattering of residences and mobile homes. The near desolation adds a nostalgic charm to this remarkable building." - Terry Jeanson, June 2005 photo

Sherwood TX -  Irion CountyCourthouse Historical Marker
Sherwood Courthouse historical marker.
Courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005

Historical Marker

Sherwood Courthouse

(Built 1900-1901)
First permanent courthouse for Irion County, locally organized 1889. Replaced temporary housing in several buildings. Site was gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ripley. Contractors: Martin and Moody. Stone was quarried nearby.

Courthouse was used for dances, teachers' institutes, community events; yard, for summer socials.

Enclosed to keep out grazing stock, approach was by a stile over fence beside which were water troughs and hitching posts for teams and saddle horses.

A 1936 election made Mertzon county seat. Once pride of area, this is now a community center.

See Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon

Sherwood TX - 1901 Irion CountyCourthouseClockTower with painted clock face
The courthouse's clock tower with the time painted on.
Courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005

Sherwood TX 1901 Irion County Courthouse Entrance
1901 Irion County Courthouse Entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005

Former Irion County courthouse in Sherwood Texas
Sherwood courthouse tower
TE photos, 2000

TX Dove Creek Battlefield TX Centennial Marker
Dove Creek Battlefield Marker
On private property on the Dove Creek Ranch
8 miles SE of Mertzon via FM 915 and CR 113
Click on photo for large image
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014

Texas Centennial Marker
Dove Creek Battlefield
Around this mountain a battle was fought on January 8, 1865 between 2000 Indians and Texas Rangers and State Troops commanded by Captains John Fossett and S. S. Totten. Four officers and 22 of their men lie in unmarked graves nearby.

Irion County Texas 1940s map
Irion County 1940s map showing Sherwood
From Texas state map #4335
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Sherwood TX Irion County 1891  postoffice info
Sherwood TX Irion County 1891 Postmark
Cover canceled with Sherwood, TX 1891 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Sherwood, Texas Forum
  • Sherwood is not yet a ghost town, but it lost its post office 50 years ago, and that's the first and a big step toward disappearing. - John J. Germann, July 23, 2023

  • While it is true that the Kickapoo do live near Nacimientos, Coahuila, Mexico, they also live near Eagle Pass, Texas and in Kansas and travel between all locations freely. I really enjoy Texas Escapes and thank you for your dedicated work on it. - Bick Eubanks, June 22, 2002

  • I was recently doing some metal detecting in Mertzon, TX area and found a token with the following on one side: Ranchman's Retreat J.W. Murphy - Propr. Sherwood Texas and the following on the other: Good for one 12 1/2cent drink. If you could help me identify this piece, or give me some idea where I might get additional information, it would be greatly appreciated. - Ray Bartek, May 10, 2002

  • Take a road trip

    West Texas

    Sherwood, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Mertzon the county seat
    San Angelo | Big Lake
    See Irion County

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